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Posts Tagged ‘St. Patrick’s Day’

Erik Sorensen, NBC5 Street Team

It will be a somber St. Patrick’s Day for those of us slowly coming to terms with the absence of our beloved South Side Irish Parade. On March 25th of 2009, the South Side St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee announced that the event would be cancelled, indefinitely. The decision was welcomed by some, but widely regarded as the end of a cherished era by most.

For many, the parade was as much a staple for their neighborhood as any event; so much so, that it grew in popularity every year and eventually became too large to manage. Or so the explanation goes.

South Side Irish Parade Route

While there were many legitimate factors that influenced the cancellation, (namely public intoxication, trampled property, unruly behavior) none represent what gave the parade its heart and soul: the families. It was about gathering to celebrate our Irish heritage, but you always got the sense there was more to it than that. Droves of families and friends poured faithfully each year into Western Avenue like a green human river; walking distances from as short as their front lawns to neighborhoods miles away.

Some of my earliest and fondest memories can be attributed to that parade. I watched it with my family and relatives as a child; marched in it as a boy scout; attended it with dear friends as a teenager; played in it as part of the Marist High School Marching Band and returned to it as a spectator, and an adult. It was an event to share with your children, and your children’s children. A gathering of proud people surrounded by the buildings and streets they love. It was the celebration of the neighborhoods the event represented, and the stores you rode your bike to as a kid. It was the South Side Irish Parade, and it was ours.

(Replacing the event will be the South Side Irish Parade Family Fest, held on Saturday, March 13th, hosted by the Beverly Arts Center. The daylong festival features family-friendly activities including: bag pipers, an Irish soda bread contest, a small children’s parade, dancers, a best dressed “Irish dog” contest and an array of Irish-themed arts.)

TICKETS
Admission (from 11am-4pm): $10 Adults,
$7 Seniors, Free for children under 12
Admission (after 4pm): All tickets $25

http://www.beverlyartcenter.org

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Cara Carriveau, NBC5 Street Team

Here’s one more chance to almost rock with U2.  No better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day then with the rockers from Ireland…or, in this case, St. Louis…Elevation is at Durty Nellies Palatine tonight.

Check out my chat with Elevation‘s Bono“:

Check out more of my celebrity interviews in Cara’s Basement and in Cara’s Connection.

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Paul M. Banks a.k.a. The Sports Bank, NBC Chicago Street Team When the downtown St. Patrick’s Day parade kicks off Saturday at noon, many Chicagoans will be reminded why this is a Bears town first. One place they’ll be sporting blue and orange in lieu of green is “Da Bus,” a renovated old school bus celebrating the Chicago Bears. I’ve been on Da Bus, which features a shrine to and autographs from pretty much every Bears Hall of Famer you can name. The tailgate surrounding it is THE place to be when pre-gaming for the Bears at Soldier Field.

Da Bus, kicking off its 20th season of tailgating with its annual placement in the parade, is proud to hook up with the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, a charity that takes care of underprivileged children. Da Bus, along with a float from country radio station US-99, will be joined by the kids from The Mercy Home for Boys and Girls in their march along the parade route.dabus

I’ll be hitching a ride as well and earlier this week I spoke with bus owner/developer and Bears superfan Tim Shanley. “Da Bus is float number 36 this year, which puts us back on television. Both WGN and ABC are covering this event, so don’t forget to hit the record button before you leave the house on Saturday,” Shanley said.

For those looking to get “Irish,” Shanley’s crew and I will be hitting a parade afterparty at a hotel bar downtown. “Da Bus will supply sandwiches, bottled water, Pepsi and 7-UP for the duration of the parade, and we will start to really celebrate when we park at the Hilton near Kitty O’Shea’s, which will be celebrating the day with Irish music and plenty of cold beer,” Shanley proclaimed.

This weekend go green and also GO BEARS!

See more of Paul M. Banks’ work at the Washington Times and The Sports Bank

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